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As Number of Missourians With Coronavirus Rises To 4, Parson Declares A State Of Emergency

Missouri Governor Mike Parson addressed reporters Friday afternoon in the Capitol shortly after declaring a state of emergency.
Credit Facebook Live Screenshot
Missouri Governor Mike Parson addressed reporters Friday afternoon in the Capitol shortly after declaring a state of emergency.

UPDATE Saturday, March 14:  One of the two "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19 announced by the governor Friday is in Clinton, Missouri. The Henry County Health Center has posted a statement to its website that includes the following:

"The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the Henry County Health Center and Golden Valley Memorial Hospital announce a Henry County, Missouri resident has tested presumptively positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This case is one of those reported on March 13 by Governor Mike Parson during a news conference. The patient was hospitalized at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton prior to being transferred on March 8 to another facility where a specimen was collected for testing and where the patient remains currently."

Original article:

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has declared a state of emergency after two additional individuals tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19 in the Show-Me State on Friday.  This brings the total number of cases in Missouri to four.

He did not say where the individuals are based, but told reporters he would hopefully make that information public later Friday “after notifications have been made.”  

“As of today, a total of 94 individuals have been tested for COVID 19 in Missouri.  Ninety have been negative,” Parson said.

When asked whether the two new cases were travel related or whether the chain of transmission was community-based, the governor said he would likely make that information public later in the evening.

Officials use the term “presumptive positive” to describe a specimen that has tested positive at the state level but is awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The state of emergency declaration, made by executive order, allows Missouri to receive more help from the federal government, opens up additional state funds, and relaxes the regulations on specific emergency response laws.

In addition, the governor said Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Missouri will soon have capabilities to test for COVID-19.

Parson said he signed the order at 4:30 p.m. Friday. He said the declaration was not made with the intention of closing public schools—a decision he said will be made at the local levels.

Greene County health officials are investigating the case of a Springfield resident who tested positive Thursday. Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Clay Goddard, said at a news conference Thursday evening staff are working to identify anyone who might have come into contact with the person, identified only as someone in their 20s who recently returned from Austria.

Parson said Friday that SEMA and the Missouri National Guard are prepared to build temporary structures if needed as part of the response to the outbreak.

KSMU has created a webpage dedicated to coronavirus news, public health advisories. You can find that by clicking here.

Copyright 2020 KSMU. To see more, visit .

As the Journalist-in-Residence at Missouri State University, Jennifer teaches undergraduate and graduate students, oversees a semester-long, team reporting project, and contributes weekly stories to KSMU Radio in the area of public affairs journalism.
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